Thursday, 28 February 2013

Winter Arm, a Long Flight and Victorian Bandstand

"East to West" :- Here's a moody image taken on a cold winters afternoon from the Eastern arm of Brighton Marina on the south coast of England. The Western arm sits in silhouette as the concrete blocks placed to help protect the wall catch the fading light.

"Up Up & Away" :- The "Bastion Steps" are located at Friars Bay in Peacehaven on the southern coast of England. They are very steep and were built just after after World War 1 to give the residents of Peacehaven access to the beach. They offer a stunning view on the way down of the English channel, the beach and rocks below. Coming back up the other way makes the calf muscles ache and they also make you very aware that you are not as fit as you thought you were.

"Step Back In Time" :- This is the wonderfully ornate Victorian Bandstand (affectionately known as "The Birdcage") in Brighton & Hove (Sussex, England) on a less than sunny day back in January 2012. It was designed by Phillip Lockwood (a local Brighton Borough Surveyor) and was finished in 1884. The Bandstand is thought to be one of the greatest examples of a Victorian bandstand surviving in England. In the 1970's the footpath/bridge linking the bandstand to the upper promenade was removed making it impossible for anyone to gain access. The Bandstand has recently been restored and the bridge put back in place so that tourists, holiday makers, locals and day trippers can all stand under it's ornate canopy and look in awe at the fine Victorian design and workmanship. It makes you very aware of all the historical and beautiful structures that are no longer with us. Some wore away with decay over the years due to disrepair and a disregard of their upkeep. Others were simply torn down and leveled to make way for something new and less aesthetically pleasing. We are lucky in Brighton because a lot of our history is still plainly visible and standing. It's sad to think that other towns and cities were less fortunate.

All Photography © Justin Hill

Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Reverential History, Seven Sisters and Boats

"612-150-138-468" :- This is the interior of St Mary & St Peter's Church in the ancient village of Wilmington in East Sussex. According to the Domesday Book (written in 1086) the church was founded about A.D. 1000 to serve the Saxon settlement of Wineltone (Wilmington). Most of what you can see in this image dates from the 12th century, the church is a Grade I listed building. It was eerily silent inside and you could almost feel the history and age of the place just by standing in the middle.

"View From The Top" :- This is a view from the cliff top at Seaford of the famous "Seven Sisters" cliff face at Cuckmere Haven on the south coast of England. The chalk rises up out of the ground in an instant and thunders off East along the coastline to eventually form "Beachy Head" which is the highest cliff face in Britain. This view has been photographed thousands of times by thousands of photographers but they usually make sure the coastguard houses on the edge of the cliff are in shot. I thought it would be different to climb higher and have them below the horizon of the land so that nothing man made was in the shot at all.

"Motionless" :- The masts of the boats and their reflections reminded me of a spiky sound wave, the sort that you'd see captured on recording equipment. However it was the only wave that was (sort of) visible as the sea water within Brighton Marina (England) was still and calm. The boats had very little movement at their berths, just a slight rocking or gentle sideways motion but that was all. I'd come down one of the ramps and onto a lower jetty to try and get as low down a shot as possible without getting the camera wet! I loved the look of the wide strip of water between the boats.

All Photography © Justin Hill

Tuesday, 26 February 2013

High & Mighty, Civic Building and Memories

"Here Be Giants" :- An image of some mighty trees, not in a forest, wood or jungle setting but situated at the back of Brighton's huge and sprawling Stanmer Park on the outskirts of the city on the south coast of England. The park itself is ancient, within it's grounds there's Stanmer Village, Stanmer Church and Stanmer House (built in 1722). For me though the best part of the park are it's huge trees that reach out in all directions.

"Town Hall" :- The Town Hall in Bartholomew Square, Brighton (England). It was designed by the architect Benjamin A. Muncil and was built in 1914. In the basement you can find the "Old Police Cells Museum" for Sussex Police and on the ground floor there's the Register Office of Births, Deaths & Marriages.

"View from Wish Tower" - This is a view of the seaside resort of Eastbourne on England's south coast. This is the town where I studied at Art College back in the early 80's, it's where I discovered my love of beer and also where quite a few of my electric guitars were bought from. I don't go there very often now but when I do get the chance to visit the place it still holds some wonderful memories for me. In this shot you can clearly see Eastbourne Pier (first opened to the public on 13th June 1870) and the coastline curving off towards Hastings to the East.

All Photography © Justin Hill

Monday, 25 February 2013

A Guide, A Beach and a Reflection

"Air Navigation Beacon" :- High up on a Seaford cliff top in Sussex on the south of England stands this air navigation beacon. It's look like something from the future or an episode of Dr Who. Obviously it's all locked up and gated to stop the public from entering or interfering with it but you can get pretty close and have a good look. I chose to shoot it from a distance as the surrounding greenery seemed to add to the mystery and look of it all.

"Last Light" :- A dark and very brooding moody beachscape on the Sussex coast in England. In the distance and to the right you can just make out part of the city of Brighton as the clouds move in and threaten us all with the chance of a storm.

"Indigo" :- The village pond at Rotingdean (England) captured during the twilight hour. I usually photograph the pond from the opposite side where the cars are parked in this image but on this occasion thought it looked wonderful looking back from the other bank with the houses reflected in the deep blue hues of the water.

All Photography © Justin Hill

Sunday, 24 February 2013

High & Mighty, End Shot and Fade Away

"Towards the Gallery" :- An interior shot of the mighty St Bartholomew's Church (built in 1874) in Brighton, England. This is looking south towards the entrance / exit with the Byzantine style Badlachino (canopy) just behind me. The church has the distinction of being the tallest parish church in Britain (and possibly Europe) at 135 ft. St Bartholomew's is "a masterpiece of brickwork" and now a Grade I listed building.

"Shadow Rails" :- A view of Brighton seafront from the end of it's famous Victorian Pier taken approx 14:10 pm one year ago on the 2nd February 2012. The afternoon sun was blazing away and casting some wonderful shadows on the decking as it blasted through the ornate cast iron railings. The air was still very cold and from what i remember the wind was adding drastically to the chill factor.

"The Sky's the Limit" :- This one's for the memory of my little girl "Kaem" who I loved with all my heart . Captured from the top of Mount Pleasant which is a hill and farmland that lays between Woodingdean and Ovingdean in Sussex, England. In the distance on the far right you can just see some of the road lighting by the racehill. The night tries to devour the day but not before twilight puts on a show and dance for us with the fading sun as it's partner.

All Photography © Justin Hill

Saturday, 23 February 2013

Restaurant, Bench and Thoughts

"The Chilli Pickle" :- The Chilli Pickle is located in Jubilee Street in the city of Brighton, England. This entire area was redeveloped several years ago and what was once a squalid and run down part of the city has been turned into a thriving, bustling and cosmopolitan area. The Indian restaurant is in a space and part of "myhotel".

"Seated at the Top" :- This bench can be found on the cliff top between Rottingdean and Saltdean on the south coast of England. It overlooks the English Channel and when it's not windy or being lashed with rain the views are wonderful out over the sea. There's a coast road that runs along the entire length of the cliffs toward Brighton and the cliffs are slowly eroding away so at some point in the future I am guessing that this will be open air with a large drop below. As you can see the space between the bench and the cliff edge is not that great.

"Breaking Dawn" :- This shot is for the memory of my little girl. Captured very early one morning on the 2nd January 2013 up on the farmland near my house in southern England. An awe inspiring sunrise that conjured up thoughts of the cosmos, our universe, our wonderful planet and heaven and hell.

We are all lucky to be on this planet, we have one chance and one chance only. All life is sacred irrespective of color, race & creed. We should embrace it and each other, put down the weapons, the hatred, the ridicule, the jealousy and our differences and live as a unified human race. We are destroying ourselves and the planet that we live on and we have the audacity to call ourselves intelligent.

All Photography © Justin Hill

Friday, 22 February 2013

Brighton Pub, Elevated Elevator and Solitary Storm

"Seven Stars" :- This is a shot od the "Seven Stars" Pub located n Ship Street, Brighton, UK. Before it was the "Seven Stars" it was an Irish pub called "O'Neills" and way before that it was known as "The Old Vic". Back in the 80's my band "Gamut" performed at "The Old Vic" twice, once on Tuesday 8th September 1987 and then again a year later on Thursday 25th August 1988. Back then it was a rather squalid pub which made it ideal for turning up the volume on the Marshall's and blowing away some of the cobwebs.

"Elevation" :- Here's a capture of the recently restored Victorian "Madeira Lift" on Brighton seafront. The shot was captured from the Victorian built terrace below which is often frequented by "undesirables" at night so I had to be careful and relatively quick to grab the shot I wanted. As you can see it's pitch black down below but the lift itself looks wonderful now that it's illuminated and all lit up at night. The structure is Grade II listed and was opened way back in 1890.

"Breaching the Peace" :- This was a very strange moment that I happened to be in the right place at the right time for. I was on the beach at Ovingdean Gap on the south coast of England photographing the sunset (or at least trying to) when this huge storm cloud floated in on its own from the north and then settled in position over the English Channel. t was fascinating to watch and eerie at the same time as it conjured up thoughts of "Mother Ships" and malevolent entities. Anyway I survived to tell the tale and made my way back home (but not before I'd checked my watch to make sure there wasn't any "missing time".

All Photography © Justin Hill

Thursday, 21 February 2013

Not What It Seems, Lych Gate and Historical Seat

"Pseudo Med" :- This could easily be a shot of a rooftop in Spain or possibly somewhere within Italy but it's not. This is the top of the "Whitecliffs" café on the seafront at Saltdean (near Brighton), England. The whitewashed yellowing paint and simple design is reminiscent of the sorts of buildings one can see situated in Mediterranean countries. The clear blue sky adds the last touch and completes the deception. It made me think about how the ancient designs and architecture from Greece and Italy caught the imagination of the rest of the world and was copied throughout. Corinthian columns can be found on virtually every important governmental building echoing those seen at the Forum in Rome. Pythagoras and his (although the ancient Egyptians had used it before him) PI (3.14 etc) ratio also spread globally along with the golden section and Phi.

"Church Gatehouse" :- This very very old building can be found in the village of Hartfield in the Ashdown Forest in Sussex, England. It's known as the Lych Gate Cottage (gate house) to the church of St Mary the Virgin. Inscribed on one part of the cottage wall is the date "AD 1510". Just to put things in perspective for you all in 1510 :- Catherine of Aragon gave birth to her first child (a stillborn daughter). Henry VIII of England was then just 18 years old and Sir Thomas More became undersheriff of the City of London making this a truly historic cottage ... and it's still lived in!

"Vintage Seating" :- Brighton seafront is famous for its Victorian heritage. They seemed to embrace it whilst throwing everything the industrial revolution had to offer at it at the same time. Iron work is everywhere. The good thing about that though is that it lasted so many of the things they constructed are still standing, visible and in use. This is a shot of one of the many Victorian seats situated along Brighton's long promenade on the south coast. It's unmistakably Brighton.

All Photography © Justin Hill

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Water Log, Thin Ice and 400 Years of Lessons

"Driftwood" :- The late afternoon sun catches a log thrown onto the sands by the incoming tide. The reddish brown hues of the sand glisten in the light before they are swallowed up once again by the sea. This was captured on the beach near my home on the south coast of England.

"Frozen Pond" :- Captured at the beginning of December 2012 in the historical village of Rottingdean (near the city of Brighton, England). The cold weather had arrived and temperatures were dropping faster than you could put layers of clothing on. The village pond had frozen over completely mirroring one of the village inns and the surrounding houses.

"Brotherhood Hall" :- This is a view along Church Street in the village of Steyning situated in the county of Sussex in England. The black and white ancient building situated on the right hand side is "Brotherhood Hall" (originally known as the Guild Hall of the Fraternity of the Holy Trinity). This building was a school for over 400 years as it's use as a school can be traced back as far as 1584! timber-framed The structure is a 15th century construction and you can read more about it here :- Brotherhood Hall

All Photography © Justin Hill

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Bacon Number #1

Yesterday I had the privilege to join a hangout hosted by +FOX 11 Los Angeles and +Maria Quiban and talk to their highly special guest Kevin Bacon. Now as you all know Kevin is regarded as the center of the universe due to the 6 Degrees of Bacon scale that has been referred to for many years. Due to this hangout I am happy to announce that I now have a Bacon number of 1 and I thought I would share some of that joy with you all by posting the hangout that was recorded for YouTube here. Enjoy :-

Golden Smile, Loud Serenity and a Coastal City

"Happy Buddha" - A golden smiling image of Buddha sits calmly in contemplation in the shade of a Bodhi Tree (also known as Bo). It has been written down through history that Gautama Buddha is said to have achieved enlightenment below one of these trees. This particular Buddha image can be found in a temple called Wat Ko Klang which is (approx) a 30 minute drive / ride (I did it by motorbike) south east outside the city of Chiang Mai in the north of Thailand.

"Cables" :- A serene and calm image of boats berthed within Brighton Marina on the south coast of England. In reality it's a rather noisy place. The air is filled with "pinging" and "clanking" as cable upon cable slap the metallic masts as they are caught in the breeze and wind. Gulls fly overhead crying and squawking as they fight each other for the odd scrap that they've picked up. There's nothing serene about it at all!

"Brighton Rocks!" :- This is a long shot of the coastal city of Brighton which sits on the Southerly edge of England alongside the English Channel. This is where I was born, this is where I grew up and this is where I still live (when I'm not in Thailand). The city started off life as a small fishing village and slowly grew in size and popularity from the 1700's onward. It's a mixture of architectural styles, sights, sounds and cultures. It has a reputation as a "party town" and many well known and famous actors and musicians live here too as it's only an hour or so by train to the center of London which is just 54 miles North. This image was captured late one evening (August 21st 2012) from the end of Brighton's famous pier.

All Photography © Justin Hill

Monday, 18 February 2013

Mirrored Marina, Hazy Days and Stark Light

"To Let" :- Captured along one of the boardwalks in Brighton Marina (England). The empty office structure sits patiently with a "To Let" sign in the window whilst its vast glass frontage reflects the moored boats and a passing gull (capturing the gull in the shot was pure luck). Once again I had to calmly wait as each time I was about to grab the shot someone would get in the way or appear from nowhere. Patience is a virtue...especially if you are a photographer!

"Hove Lawns" :- Brighton & Hove (on the south coast of England) found themselves to be the in the middle of an unexpected heatwave at the end of July 2012. The place came alive as locals and tourists all hit the promenades & seafront to soaked up the sun and it's rare rays. This is a capture of Hove lawns during that heatwave. To the far left there's the English channel and stretching from the far right off into the haze and vanishing point there's the wonderful architecture left from the days of the Georgian, Regency and Victorian periods.

"Harsh" :- I love breaking rules and that goes for the rules of photography too. I remember years ago being told at art college never to shoot into the sun, it was one of "those rules" that was forever being drummed into us. If you look through my images you'll see that shooting into the sun is something that I do a lot and it's not an easy rule to break in England as it's very rare that we get to see the sun at all! Anyway, this image was shot down on the undercliff walk ( a wide footpath trapped between the bottom of the cliffs and the English channel) between the villages of Ovingdean and Rottingdean. I love the stark, harsh lines and edges against the soft cloudy sky and get a kick out of seeing how the sunlight tries its hardest to visually soften bits up.

All Photography © Justin Hill

Sunday, 17 February 2013

Redundant, Reflected and Relaxed

"Stanmer Church Entrance" :- This is the main entrance and door of the now redundant (The Diocese of Chichester declared the church redundant from 29 December 2008) Stanmer Church in Stanmer Village within the vast Stanmer Park, Brighton, England. The Church is listed as a Grade II building and is (apparently) still opened to visitors by Stanmer Preservation Society every Sunday. As you can see the architecture and body off the church is very tall and thin. Maybe one of these days I'll get the chance to take a look inside.

"Front Wheel" :- A very rare shot and capture of the Brighton Wheel on the south coast of England. Usually the beach is a mass of pebbles and stones but at the end of August 2012 we were treated to an unusually low tide which revealed that Brighton did in fact have some sand. I'd been down on the sand photographing the pier which looked as if it was in shock as it suddenly found itself exposed to all with it's spindly legs on show with no sea water to hide its dignity. It was when I turned to walk back up that I saw this wonderful reflection of the wheel and seafront.

"Let Sleeping Sheep Lie" :- I know I shouldn't say so myself but I do love this image. I'd been wandering about the fields and hills that surround the River Cuckmere (in Sussex, England) when I spotted these three sheep all having a rest and sleep. I instantly went into stealth mode so I could get as near as possible without startling them, set up the camera and got the shot. I love the angles, colors and feel of it all. It almost looks like a studio set and shot but I assure you it's not ... it's 100% natural.

All Photography © Justin Hill

Saturday, 16 February 2013

Dark Figure, Grey Day Out and Beacon Mill

"The Man in Black" :- This was captured from the small road and footbridge that leads from Brighton Station on the south coast of England. To the right of the image you can see the ornate iron work of the Victorian station, to the left and out of shot is the top of Queen's Road that leads down to West Street and then down to the seafront and the sea. The crossroads (right of center by the Grand Central Bar) are where Guildford Rd, Trafalgar St, Terminus Rd and Surrey St all meet.

"Fair Folly" :- Shot & captured from within Brighton Marina (England), this is the beer garden & seating area by "The Master Mariner" bar & restaurant. I had the place to myself as it was bitterly cold and as you can see by the sky it was also threatening to rain for my entire time there.

"Last Light" :- Beacon Mill is a subject that I return to time and time again. The mill stands on Beacon Hill overlooking the English Channel and is very close to where I live on the south coast of England. She stopped turning a long long time ago and her interior was removed so that an iron skeleton could be erected inside to help her keep standing due to her age. She's become a very well known and respected landmark.

All Photography © Justin Hill

Friday, 15 February 2013

Estuary View, Dark Beach and Big Top

"The Green Green Grass of Home" :- Here's an image looking North of the estuary at Cuckmere in Sussex, England. It was taken from high up on the cliff top with the English Channel well below and behind me. Starting from the left hand side in the distance you can see the mighty sprawling Friston Forest running across the horizon to the far right.

"The Expanse" :- Here's a bleak, moody and mysterious shot of the remains of the West Pier (far right), Brighton beach (on the south coast of England) and the English Channel. The sun had given up trying to stay up late and was preparing to retire for the day just as a set of dark storm clouds drifted into position threatening to ruin a perfect evening.

"Ticket Office" :- Back in May 2012 the "Moscow State Circus" came to town and set up camp in Preston Park on the edge of Brighton (England). I had a wander around and spotted a few riggers pulling on ropes and adding final touches and safety measures to the big top. I was hoping to see a few of the performers practicing outside in the sun but there wasn't a juggler, acrobat or clown to be found.

All Photography © Justin Hill

Thursday, 14 February 2013

Silhouetted Love, Grand Ocean and Steps

"Share the Moment" :- An image just right for posting today on Valentine's Day. A couple sit side by side and close together on a bench on Brighton's historical promenade (England). They are overlooking the English Channel and watching the sun dip slowly in the late afternoon sky. It's a scene full of tranquility and love.

"Living in the Past" :- This is the GRAND OCEAN in Saltdean on the south coast of England. . It was fairly recently renovated and is now divided up into many private apartments. It has a fascinating history. Originally designed by Richard Jones the "Ocean Hotel" opened it's doors in 1938. Once it was known as 'the honeymoon hotel' and its gardens were designed to echo the bows of the Queen Mary. During WWII it was taken over by the Auxiliary Fire Service and later became a fire service college. In 1952 it was signed over to Billy Butlin and it became the flagship for the Butlin's holiday camp chain. The building is now Grade II listed.

When I look at this magnificent structure I can't help but think of the hotel in "The Shining". "Jack Torrance" sits on his own at an Art Deco bar within the hotel and is then suddenly surrounded by figures and people from the 30's. For me the "Grand Ocean" seems to exude the feeling that many of those who frequented the establishment over the decades are still somehow there. The building has not changed at all, it's like having a time machine and being able to take a glimpse into the past.

"Uniquely Brighton" :- Here's another shot of Brighton's Victorian promenade on the south coast of England. The entire Victorian age seemed to be dictated (and constructed) by it's love of bricks and iron. The two are everywhere you look in Brighton and are especially notable along its seafront with the famous turquoise painted railings, large brickwork bastion supported steps and it's one and a half piers.

All Photography © Justin Hill

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Rood screen, Frozen Graves and a Pagoda Boat

"Carved Elegance" :- This is the highly ornate and beautifully carved "Rood Screen" in Saint Paul's Church in the city of Brighton (England). According to the church's website (saintpaulschurch) "The Rood screen was part of R.C. Carpenter’s original design for the church in 1849. The Rood Cross and the figures of the Blessed Virgin Mary and S. John were designed by G.F. Bodley in 1863 but not completed until 1910."

"Snow Fall From Grace" :- Shot back in January 2013 during the period of snowfall that hit the UK. This was captured in the graveyard of the 11th Century church of St Wulfran's in the village of Ovingdean on the south coast of England. It looks very bleak and cold and that's because it was very bleak and cold! This side of the graveyard is on a bank that rises up alongside the church itself which it a more imposing look in this image.

"Floating Restaurant" :- This is the 105 seat "Brighton Pagoda" floating restaurant and fine art gallery which is moored at Brighton Marina on the south coast of England. It first opened in 1997 and the fine art gallery (displaying beautiful Chinese paintings) was added to the lower deck of the restaurant in 2002. I would dearly love to relate some of the crafts history to you but unfortunately I have not been able to find out anything about it so I don't know where it came from or its age etc. I love its oriental style tiled roof and exterior decor.

All Photography © Justin Hill

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Dappled Nature, Bland Architecture and a Jetty

"Who Goes There" :- This was captured way back in May 2012 within a large copse of trees located near the village of Falmer in Sussex, England. The sunlight was trying its best to stream through the canopy of the trees and was leaving bright little patches of light on everything. It was a wonderfully hot day.

"Superstore" :- This is part of the exterior of the superstore at Brighton Marina. It's a slab like structure that's not much to look and is not very pleasing to the eye. It serves its purpose and that's that. Inside it's a cavernous warehouse like space filled with goods, products and shoppers. This is just about the one and only angle that I could find that looked interesting enough to capture.

"Water Tours" :- This was shot yesterday afternoon (11th Feb 2013) within a cold and miserable Brighton Marina on the south coast of England. The marina is huge, in fact it's the UK's largest marina as well as being the largest Marina complex in Europe. So it felt rather strange to be wandering about the place without seeing many people. It was empty due to the freezing cold weather. Having said that I was happy as that meant I could freely wander about the place without anyone getting in the way of the camera.

All Photography © Justin Hill